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Breast Reconstruction Most healthy women are candidates for reconstruction

Priti Patel MD specializes in breast reconstruction and has been helping many women improve their appearance with plastic surgery and breast reconstruction.

Breast Reconstruction Breast Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction

Through many years of plastic surgery experience, our practice has been able to perform countless reconstructions of all types to help women regain confidence and a sense of well being after mastectomy surgery or cancer related procedures. Dr. Priti Patel, is fellowship trained (Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess) in Aesthetic and Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction. She has the skill and artistic eye to make your breast reconstruction a true success – giving you a result that looks and feels like your own natural breast.

Post Treatment

Breast Reconstruction

While the drains are in, you cannot take a bath or submerge yourself into water. The drain sites should remain dry during any showers. You should limit reaching and excessive stretching of your arms immediately after your mastectomy. We recommend avoid stretching your arms above your shoulder level immediately after surgery. Once the drains from your breast are removed, you may be given limited exercises to start, generally light range of motion exercises. We recommend no heavy lifting or exercise for 4-8 weeks depending on the type of procedure performed. Walking is fine and can actually speed up your recovery and prevent complications.

Breast Reconstruction

Approaches to breast reconstruction

No two breasts are exactly alike so Dr. Priti Patel will create a customized treatment plan specifically for you. There are several different ways in which your breast reconstruction can be accomplished:

  • Flap techniques.
    These procedures (such as TRAM flap, DIEP flap, SGAP flap, and latissiumus dorsi flap) use muscle, fat and skin from other parts of your body such as your abdomen, buttock, or back to recreate a breast mound. The donor tissue is often tunneled to the mastectomy site and remains attached to its original blood supply. In many cases, a flap technique may be combined with a breast implant.
  • Tissue expansion.
    Patients who choose tissue expansion should expect a lengthy process that involves several office visits over an extended period of time. An expander will be placed underneath the skin and will be filled gradually to stretch the skin, making room for an implant. This procedure, although time consuming, can have the advantage of quicker and easier recovery when compared to flap procedures.
  • Breast implants.
    A breast implant (either saline or silicone) can be used to create the breast mound. This is often combined with flap techniques or tissue expansion.


Do I need to have breast reconstruction?

While most women will have some type of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or lumpectomy, it is not absolutely necessary. The benefits are to help women fill out a bra and maintain a sense of well being. However, some women choose to have the cancer operation without any immediate reconstruction. Others may consider having delayed reconstruction in future. The choice is certainly individualized and we would love the opportunity to help make the best decision with you. Federal law mandates all commercial insurance plans pay for breast reconstruction. We work closely with local breast surgeons to provide our patients with quality reconstruction. Once you come in for a consultation, we will work with your insurance to get authorization for any procedures you request. If we are not in your network, we can often apply for an exception to help contain costs. Our surgical coordination will discuss this at your visit and we would be pleased to assist throughout the process.

Are all women candidates for immediate breast reconstruction?

Most heathy women are candidates for reconstruction. There are a variety of reconstructive options and you may not be a candidate for all types however we will certainly discuss which procedure you qualify for and which would suit your body frame the best.

What are the major types of reconstruction available?

There are three types of breast reconstruction. The first is tissue expander reconstruction, also known as implant reconstruction. The second is autologous tissue reconstruction, also known as free flap reconstruction which is a procedure where we use your own tissues, typically from the abdomen to create a breast. The third is a combination of the two methods, using your own tissue from the back, latissimus muscle, plus a tissue expander/ implant underneath. The most common treatment with the least recovery is expander/implant reconstruction. We will review all the treatment options along with photos of each of these during the visit to help you decide.

How long will I be out of work for?

For implant reconstruction, most women take two to four weeks off following the mastectomy and placement of the tissue expanders. For any subsequent surgeries (removal of the tissue expanders and placement of the permanent implant), the recovery is quick, however we recommend at least a few days off. Many women are able to return to work during the tissue expansion process.

For tissue flap reconstruction, women generally take six to eight weeks off of work.

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